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East of England salaries rise 3.9pc as employers battle to keep top talent
East Anglia’s professional and technical staff are earning an average of £36,400 – an increase of 3.9pc in the past 12 months – according to Cooper Lomaz Recruitment’s annual barometer of salaries.
The 12th Recruitment Trends and Salary Survey from Norfolk and Bury St Edmunds-based independent recruiters Cooper Lomaz, has gathered data from thousands of respondents working in seven key sectors.
Average salaries, county by county, range from £38,783 in Hertfordshire to £32,907 in Norfolk.
One of the more surprising revelations was that the gender pay gap in the eastern counties appears to have widened from £8k to £10k. The average salary for a man is now £41k, while for a woman it is £31k.
“That shows more work needs to be done to achieve pay equality. It also suggests that there needs to be more encouragement and support for women to pursue careers in technical areas like information technology and engineering.” said Cooper Lomaz Operations Director Mr Fletcher.
The past 12 months have seen a dramatic drop of 35pc in the number of people who say they are willing to move location to find a new job.
“Employers realise they must work harder than ever to attract and keep the cream of eastern counties workers. Salary alone is no longer the be-all and end-all,” said Mr Fletcher.
Job satisfaction and added value benefits are becomingly increasingly important in deciding where to work.
“More and more employers recognise working from home
as an attractive option in recruiting and retaining quality staff”
Operations Director, Cooper Lomaz Recruitment
The highly-regarded Cooper Lomaz survey reveals that six out of 10 workers have enjoyed salary increases. Over half of respondents said they were satisfied in their work; fewer than a quarter were not.
The survey has some ‘could do better’ advice for employers wanting to recruit and keep the best talent. Seven in 10 employees are convinced their work would improve if they were offered training and development opportunities within their current role…. only three in 10 said they had been given the option.
One major shift in working patterns during 2016 saw a 40% surge in the number of people spending at least part of their week working away from their office desk or work station.
Over half of those questioned said they now worked from multiple locations. They may be working from more than one company office, at client premises, during their daily commute and, increasingly, from home.
“More and more employers recognise working from home as an attractive option in recruiting and retaining quality staff,” said Mr Fletcher.
The opportunity to work from home is primarily due to technological advances such as Cloud service systems, which simplify access to corporate IT resources and files from virtually any location with wifi connection.
“The use of tools like Skype and Google Docs means that office colleagues can actively collaborate on a work project. Several people can edit a document online at the same time,” said Mr Fletcher. “It is a big factor for a growing number of people who can now live and work in the eastern counties and enjoy the quality of life it offers, without having to commute to London. It brings a dramatic enhancement in work-life balance.”
'Some employers are also finding that productivity increases when they operate a shorter working day. It keeps younger staff tasked-focussed and away from the competing distractions of social media platforms and news browsing websites'.
The cafe culture is also a growing factor, with 1 in 10 saying that digital advances now mean they prefer to do some of their work over a cup of coffee.
“More and more people are looking for a break away from the office desk and with cafes and coffee shops offering free wifi, they can take a laptop and paperwork with them and enjoy a change of environment,” said Simon Brown, Cooper Lomaz, Commercial Director. “It’s a trend particularly evident among younger people, especially those who are working in the creative industries.
“It’s also a useful option for someone who is visiting a client’s premises some distance away from the office and wouldn’t otherwise be getting back until late,” added Mr Brown.
Some employers are also finding that productivity increases when they operate a shorter working day. It keeps younger staff tasked-focussed and away from the competing distractions of social media platforms and news browsing websites.
The EU Referendum has played its part in the sharp decrease in the number of people willing to move location to find a new job – from 54% to 35.2% in the past 12 months.
“Although employers’ appetites for hiring new staff hasn’t diminished, candidates appear to be more cautious about switching jobs because of uncertainty over how Brexit will impact the sector they work in,” said Mr Fletcher. However 45% do expect their role to change over the coming year.